Saturday, January 15, 2011

Well, hell...

Yeah, that's right... well, hell.  It's Saturday night, the last weekend before school starts back, and I've spent the last week and a half on my death bed.  Okay, maybe not my death bed, but close.  I came down with a terrible flu last Wednesday and have been down ever since.  It started as a scratchy ache in my throat on Wednesday morning and was a full blow flu by Wednesday night.  I then proceeded to spend the next 6 days laying on the sofa, or the bathroom floor.  On the upside, I lost 10 lbs; on the down side, I'm still freaking coughing.  I think I'm going to go to the doctor Tuesday and see what they can give me for the cough.

To add to my issues, this break has put me on a night schedule.  I'm awake all night and asleep all day.  I do mean all day, like 9am to 5pm sleep schedule.  How the hell am I going to get back on days before Tuesday, when school's back in?  I have no idea, but I'm pretty worried about it.  I think I'm going to have to stay awake all night tonight, and all day tomorrow, and sleep Sunday night.  That should kick me back to a night schedule, if I can stay awake.  That's the trick, right there.  Fingers crossed.

So, with all that said, I'm afraid I'm not ready for a new semester to start yet.  Sadly, these things don't ask my permission before marching forward and here I am, left feeling like I got cheated out of the last week and a half of my break.  I got nothing done that I had planned over Christmas, except to spend time with Matt.  We spent a lot of time gaming, which was much fun, but it eats up the time in nothing flat.  You can devour a whole day, or night, gaming and not even notice it... hell, you can devour a whole week in nothing flat and not notice it. Nothing else was achieved. I didn't get a book read, I didn't get any short stories written, I didn't get any sewing done (though I have the material for two projects!!), I got my house cleaned but it's back to being a huge mess again because Matt made a huge mess while I was sick, I didn't get the heaps and heaps of laundry done (working on that tonight, I guess)... nothing. I'm pretty disappointed with myself, overall, and I'm thinking that 2011 is going to be a bad year.  Nothing's gotten done and I've spent a full 1/3 of the year, so far, sick. Great.

This semester I'm taking a modern rhetoric course called Studies in the Teaching of Composition, an American Lit seminar focusing on the Southern Novel (I think), and Directed Readings with my thesis chair.  I'm really, really looking forward to the Directed Reading's course, which is entitled "Representations of Woman as Monster in Western Literature."  I'm going to have to narrow it down, of course, which is what I'm working on right now.  I think I have it narrowed down (for now) to the Romantics (Keats, Coleridge, and Le Fanu), but that's no guarantee that I'll actually end up doing them.  The biggest problem being that I can't possibly do all representations of women as monster, there're way too many! So, I need to find a common thread, or theme, which shouldn't be difficult (ha... ha... hahahahahaha... yeah).  In all, I'm excited about it because by the end of this semester, I'll have a proposal for my thesis written and I'll know, definitely, what my thesis topic will be.  I cannot wait to get that laid down!  I'm confident that once I know what my thesis will focus on, I'll feel more settled in working on it.  Of course, that could be my sad, misguided attempt at optimism, but I'm hopeful!!

In addition to my courses, I'm also working as a GA.  Last semester we observed basic writing, taught the labs, and worked in the Writing Center. This semester, I'll be teaching the basic writing and the lab, and working in the Writing Center.  It should be a fun challenge, especially given my feelings about speaking in front of people.  I'm finding that graduate school is my worst nightmare come to life, I'm constantly challenged to stand up in front of my peers and students.  It's bad because I'm never without this fearful, unsettled feeling, but it's also a positive thing because I think it's starting to help me overcome my fear about it.  I freak out a little less each time (for the most part).  By the time grad school's over, I may have completely kicked my fear!  Not likely, but again, I'm hopeful!!

Anyway, wish me luck teaching the class.  It's not so much that I'm afraid to teach the class itself, I've attended a whole semester so I know what they expect, it's that I'm afraid to teach it in front of my boss.  She'll be attending all of the basic writing courses that I teach, that way she can offer guidance and be there to help, but I'm terrified about it.  She's a great teacher, and I mean great, and I'm afraid I won't live up to her standards.  I'm worried that I'm going to come off as a dumbass, and while it's easy to speak before inferiors, and difficult to speak before peers, it's terrifying to speak before superiors!  I need all the luck I can get on this front.  I'm sure it'll be fine... but that doesn't keep me from freaking out.

So there you have it.  That's what I've been up to, in a nutshell, so I'm off to start the laundry.  I have at least 15 large loads to do to get it mostly done.  We have so. many. clothes!  Okay, wait... Matt has so. many. clothes!